Does nagging neck and shoulder pain keep you from enjoying a sound night’s sleep? Shoulder and neck discomfort are common complaints among both stomach and side sleepers, who may wake frequently and suffer poor quality of sleep.
If you’re constantly waking at night or in the morning with stiffness and pain in the neck or shoulders, or notice a tingling sensation that extends to your elbows, it may be time to consider buying a new mattress. Chronic shoulder and neck pain can be caused or exacerbated by a poor sleep surface that doesn’t conform, cushion or support. The primary role of a mattress is to provide a comfortable and supportive surface that promotes deep, restorative sleep. If you’re ready to get rid of chronic pain and reap the benefits of healthy sleep, consider some of these tips.
When your cervical spine is forced into an unnatural position for many hours at a time, neck pain will invariably result. It’s important to look for a mattress that keeps your spine in a neutral alignment. This will largely depend on your body weight and normal sleep position. The surest way to find the right mattress for your specific anatomy is to try out several different sleep technologies, using a “GoldiLocks” approach.
Some people – particularly side sleepers — find that latex mattresses offer the ideal blend of buoyant support and body conforming ability. Latex foam alleviates pressure points and helps to ensure even weight distribution, which in turn facilitates orthopedic support.
Another key to a great night’s snooze and waking pain-free is looking for a mattress that is neither too firm nor too soft. There are many ranges of comfort levels in latex, viscoelastic memory foam, as well as traditional innerspring coil beds made by today’s leading manufacturers. When testing out a new bed, experts recommend lying down for at least 15 minutes in your normal sleep position. Do you sink too deeply into the foam layers? Is your body supported in all the right places? Identifying the right firmness and mattress density is your ticket to healthy joints and waking refreshed.
Pillow choice is another piece of the puzzle when trying to eliminate neck and shoulder pain. A pillow that is too large will keep the cervical spine bent upward at an awkward angle. If you’re a side sleeper, you want to look for a pillow that is small to medium sized – one that maintains the natural curve of your neck and just fits the space between the ear and shoulder.
While feather and poly-foam materials may work well for some, latex and memory foam pillows are rated highly for cervical support and proper sleep posture.
For expert assistance in finding your ideal mattress, don’t hesitate to contact the Sleep Specialists at Mattress World Northwest. Visit one of our Portland-area mattress outlets to try out state-of-the-art sleep technology by Comfortaire, BedTech, Simmons, Stearns & Foster, and other trusted brands.